There’s nothing wrong with having fun on set. But if the joke is on FOX Sports, should we be surprised? FOX Sports has been the butt of jokes among football fans across the United States for over a decade. So with that in mind, we take a look at the top six funniest mistakes from FOX’s World Cup coverage they’ve made on live television to date.
After all, with FOX’s World Cup coverage, sometimes you have to laugh not to cry.
Top 6 funniest mistakes from FOX’s World Cup
1. FOX ruins World Cup bracket on live television
After the last game of the World Cup group stage, we finally knew all 16 teams that had qualified for the knockout round. So, what did FOX Sports do? Instead of showing the correct lineup of games for the Round of 16, they managed to screw it up on live TV (see screenshot below). Their lineup showed Spain against Croatia and Morocco against Japan.
Anyone who follows the World Cup knows that it should have been Spain against Morocco and Croatia against Japan.
2. FOX commentators can’t keep score
If you have a Group of Death where all games come down to the final 90 minutes to determine who goes through, do your homework beforehand. As a commentator and/or analyst, you find out what each team needs to advance to the next round.
So in the game between Japan and Spain commented by FOX Sports’ Jacqui Oatley and Warren Barton, the unbelievable happened. They understood so badly what was happening that they often said during the commentary that Spain would be eliminated if they lost and if Germany won.
In fact, Spain lost (2-1 to Japan) and Germany won (4-2 to Costa Rica). Still, both Spain and Japan progressed.
Barton, in particular, said on the broadcast that Spain needed an equalizer to advance, which was completely false. Maybe Barton didn’t do well in school math, but this was a laughable schoolboy mistake by Barton and in a game with big implications.
And this is from the same FOX expert who unless it’s someone famous or an Anglicized name.
3. Gag order silences talkative FOX commentator
Before the World Cup started, FOX’s lead producer promised for his World Cup coverage, “If it affects what happens on the playing field, we’ll cover it in full.” This was in response to the question of whether FOX Sports would discuss human rights violations and lack of freedoms in host country Qatar.
So when a major incident unexpectedly happened during the Portugal-Uruguay match, FOX’s policy was put to the test. A pitch invader ran onto the field, stopped play, and it was obvious he did with a large Pride flag. On the front of his shirt were the words ‘Save Ukraine’. On the back was his T-shirt with the text ‘Respect for the Iranian woman’.
So given FOX’s promise that they would fully disclose what happens on the field, what did they do? The always talkative duo of FOX Sports chief commentator John Strong and analyst Stu Holden were at a loss for words. All he could muster was, “Play is stopped here because someone has entered the field.”
And that was followed by 50 seconds of stone-cold silence.
The funny thing is that the game was also simulcast on SiriusXM, where the satellite radio company uses the FOX Sports audio feed. They must have wondered why there was such a rare silence.
4. FOX’s weakening of football coverage continues
If you thought that instance of FOX censoring itself from covering the World Cup was laughable, get a load of this. Consider these two examples of FOX Sports completely ignoring major World Cup talking points on their television coverage:
- The controversy over the OneLove bracelet. The pre-match photo of the German team with all their players covering their mouths in protest against FIFA’s attempt to silence footballers is perhaps the most iconic image of the World Cup. Except the FOX Sports live television coverage didn’t show it. And they never mentioned it or showed the image during the TV broadcasts. In fact, even before the match between Germany and Japan got underway, the OneLove bracelet controversy was the biggest story in the World Cup. Yet FOX Sports continued to completely ignore the subject on television.
- Iranian flag controversy. Two days prior to the game between the US and Iran, the biggest topic on the US national team was the controversy arising from the . Whether by accident or on purpose, US Soccer’s decision to remove the symbol of the Islamic Republic from the Iranian flag’s depictions was political dynamite. So how did American broadcaster FOX Sports do the story? They completely ignored it. And it’s not like FOX Sports not to talk about a topic involving the US Men’s National Team, is it?
5. FOX Sports cannot pronounce the names of world famous football stars
If your ‘talent’ has trouble pronouncing world-class footballers like Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, as well as Serge Gnabry, then you know you’re in trouble. Presenter Jenny Taft and expert Kelly Smith stumbled over the names of the German stars shortly before kick-off against Japan. Making matters worse is that Smith did the same thing during FOX’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup.
It’s another example of FOX’s World Cup funniest mistakes. It shows a lack of preparation. How much worse can they get?
6. FOX’s ace-and-substitution during World Cup tee times
If you’re like us who spoke to many casual sports fans during the World Cup, one of the most common feedback we’ve heard about FOX’s World Cup coverage is that they trick viewers into tuning in an hour before kickoff time. to watch the match.
Even before the World Cup, FOX Sports was known for advertising games with the start of their pre-match coverage instead of kick-off time as other countries do. It’s a bait and switch tactic by FOX Sports to “force” people to watch their pre-game coverage.
Anyone who has watched this World Cup on FOX knows they are constantly promoting upcoming coverage. However, if New York Post reporter Andrew Marchand say it eloquently:
‘What time would you like to meet for lunch? Be there at 1pm, but I won’t get there until 2pm to eat.
“For example, FOX Sports unfairly promotes the start times of the World Cup. However, it is disrespectful, not unexpected.
“…Eight years into the pending game of the United States vs. Wales, the FOX images kept saying that ‘coverage starts at 1.’
“A problem? The kick-off was at 2.”
Based on the above mistakes, it is not surprising that for World Cup 2022 many football fans have switched to watching World Cup matches on Telemundo and Peacock. Others have found alternative means.
After all, FOX Sports needs to remember that people tune in to watch the World Cup, not FOX. What FOX does offer is the accessibility of the games, a studio set that looks like a million bucks and English language coverage. They are the path of least resistance for people who don’t know any better.
Watch FOX enough and you’ll soon see they’re trying to make it all about them. Whether it’s the crazy suits, the bro culture on display or the posing for the cameras, this has turned out to be some of the worst World Cup coverage we’ve ever seen on these shores. Yes, there has been good coverage on FOX.
The funny thing about FOX though is that they believe their own hype. And that’s perhaps the funniest thing about all their coverage of the World Cup.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ANP
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